From Microblogging to Books: Moving Up the "News" Value Chain

I recently wrote a message on Twitter saying that I was “thinking that newspapers are looking more and more like magazines. And magazines are looking more and more like books.” That thought came out of the following realization:

  • Newspapers are trying to stay relevant by doing more in-depth analysis and longer articles (the Focus section of the Globe & Mail is a perfect example). They’re slowly morphing into magazines.
  • Magazines are still focusing on long articles and analysis but are also doing special topical issues. For example, Philosophie magazine recently published an amazing issue on twentieth-century philosophers. Monocle magazine’s about us section says its “More of a book than a magazine, Monocle’s designed
    to be highly portable (it’s lightweight and compact) and collectable (it’s thick and robust)”. They’re slowly morphing into “books”.
  • For many people, microblogging is replacing blogging. I had detailed that new phenomenon in a recent blog post.

I also received a couple of responses to my Twitter message. Bruno Boutot said.. and tweets like blogposts?”. Dylan Fuller added I
expand blogs R now newspapers or niche ‘zines… thus newspaper to mags to books. what R books becoming? perfect & timeless”. To which I replied that I agreed and that “books are permanent reference markers in time.”

A typical reaction to new competition is to add value to your product, to avoid becoming a commodity and having to fight on price only. I think we’re seeing that reaction on the whole “news” value chain.

  1. Microblogging is replacing blogging (expressing your thoughts)
  2. Blogging is becoming newspaper-like (more reporting)
  3. Newspapers are becoming the new magazines (more analysis)
  4. Magazines are becoming book-like (more permanent reference material)
  5. Books are still relevant as reference material

Have you seen the same thing?


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